5 reasons you haven’t yet received a stimulus check

Here’s what you need to know.

Stimulus Checks

Last week, the IRS started sending stimulus checks to tens of millions of Americans. These stimulus checks — also known as Economic Impact Payments — are part of the CARES Act, the $2 trillion stimulus package. If you qualify, you could receive as much as $1,200 and $500 per dependent 16-years-old or younger. However, many Americans haven’t received a stimulus check. You may be asking: “Why didn’t I get a stimulus check?” Here are five reasons why.

1. You don’t qualify for a stimulus check.

To qualify for the full stimulus check, you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident who filed federal income taxes for 2018 or 2019. If your adjusted gross income is lower than these numbers, you can qualify for a stimulus check of $1,200:

  • Single Filer: $75,000
  • Head of Household: $112,500
  • Married/Joint Filer: $150,000

If your adjusted gross income is higher than the amounts listed above, the amount of your stimulus check will be less than the maximum. Your stimulus amount will be reduced by $5 for every $100 more in adjusted gross income up to the income limit of $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married/joint filers. If you receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, you’ll automatically receive a stimulus check. If you have a dependent older than 16-years-old (including a high school student, college student, or dependent parent), you won’t receive $500.

2. You haven’t filed a tax return.

To qualify, you must file a 2018 or 2019 tax return (if you’re required to file one) or go to the IRS website  Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here | Internal Revenue Service to provide the necessary information. The amount of your stimulus check is based on the adjusted gross income listed in your federal tax return (or the information you provide using the link above). Your stimulus check is not based on your current income. That said, there are some Americans who aren’t required to file federal tax returns and can still qualify for the stimulus check.

3. You recently filed a tax return.

If you recently filed your federal tax return, it’s possible that your tax return is still being processed. The information in your tax return can impact how much money you receive. It’s frustrating to wait but hang in there.

4. You received the wrong amount or didn’t get any money for your dependents.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that 80 million Americans should receive their stimulus check this week. While most have received their stimulus check, there have been technical glitches. Some taxpayers who say they included their direct deposit information on their federal tax returns did not receive a stimulus check. Other taxpayers reported receiving an incorrect amount on their stimulus check, including those who said they didn’t receive any amount for their qualified dependents. Technical glitches are never fun. Within 15 days, the IRS will send a letter to stimulus check recipients. There should be information about how to contact the IRS regarding any issues with your stimulus check. 

5. There was a technical glitch.

If you experienced a technical glitch, you’re not alone. Many individuals visiting the IRS Get My Payment online portal to check their payment status have received the following message: “Payment Status Not Available.” Other taxpayers have been “locked out” of the IRS website. That was the result of an apparent security feature. If you have encountered any of these situations, you have several options. You can wait for the online system to be fixed. You can wait for a direct deposit (if you shared your information) or a stimulus check in the mail. Or, you can contact the IRS directly).

Unsure if the IRS has your bank account information? You can provide your direct deposit information on the Get My Payment tool, which is available on the IRS website. If you didn’t receive a tax refund in 2018 or 2019 or even if you pay the IRS on an installment plan, and you want a stimulus check through direct deposit, then you should use the Get My Payment online portal tool to provide your information.